How do I secure startup investment?
Securing investment is a milestone in the life of a startup, often marking the difference between a concept and a commercial reality.
Understanding the investment landscape and how to navigate it is crucial for any entrepreneur looking to raise capital.
This article offers a deep dive into strategies for unlocking startup investment, with an emphasis on crafting a compelling pitch and effectively engaging with the right investors.
Step 1: Understand the startup investment landscape
- Startup investments come in various forms, each suited to different stages of a business's lifecycle and offering unique advantages and considerations. Read about the different types of funding stages (pre-seed, seed, series A etc) here.
- Understand how much funding you need and how it aligns with your growth strategy. This should align with your financial forecasts and be in line with the valuation on your business.
Step 2: Create a standout pitch deck
- Focus on your business model, market analysis, product, team, and financials. Your pitch deck is your story; make it compelling and clear. We recommend following the Sequoia pitch deck model. You can download a template here.
- Your pitch deck needs to:
- Be easy to read (the average investor you cold-pitch will spend 30-90 seconds with it).
- Be visually appealing (the more professional your pitch deck looks, the more professional an investor will perceive your business as).
- Tell a compelling story, with a consistent narrative throughout (walk investors through the story).
Step 3: Find the right investors
- Identify investors who have a history of investing in your industry or show interest in your business model. Most importantly ensure they are aligned with the type of funding round you are raising (i.e. pre-seed, seed, series A).
- Finding investors is much like applying for a job or doing sales outreach. The best place to start is with a target list of investors. This ensures you're targeting investors based on alignment with their investment criteria and application process (if they have one). You can save time by downloading and using our UK Investor List.
Step 4: Pitch investors
- Start reaching out to prospective investors. Warm introductions are always useful to help you stand out, but not essential for most UK angel syndicates or venture capital funds.